Coming upon our anniversary here at ABBA Adoption our family is in celebration mode with several birthdays. One in particular in the past couple weeks was my son Aiden, who just turned 13! The big birthday!! Finally a TEEN!! He is our 4th child to celebrate that milestone and each time it is a fresh (and terrifying) feeling of all things new to experience; later bedtime, more choices in movies (with strong parental oversight, of-course), more independence, and more responsibility. Then in our family there is the “finally can have gum” and coffee! I know…..crazy, but that’s the rules…..no gum or coffee till your 13! It’s more of a maturity issue. It gives them something tangible they haven’t been able to freely do before and now they can have those freedoms. Maturity…..yes, that time in life when you expect some of the childish behaviors to disappear and for the now teenager to step it up a notch in the responsibilities! It’s an exciting time of new experiences for both the child and the parents.
In pondering that milestone for my son, I got to thinking about ABBA Adoption and what new things lie ahead. We are spreading our wings in new areas. Some that we have only dreamed about, that now get to become reality, like chewing gum freely for the first time. I mean, you’ve chewed gum, but now there is a freedom to enjoy that privilege in a way you’ve never been able to before. Or that morning cup of coffee. From your first sip, you pucker from the bitterness of it, then, as your taste for coffee matures, you enjoy the warmth it brings and the fascination of having it in many formats; black, flavored creamer, latte’, or espresso double shot, please and thank you!
We are kicking off our 13th anniversary with many new things to come! AND WE ARE EXCITED! You will see a whole new web-site and new marketing strategies coming very soon! We want you, our adoptive families, birth moms and friends to learn more about us as an agency and what sets us apart. This will give ABBA Adoption the ability to have more opportunities to minister to those that need us most!
In our 13 years, we have walked with well over 200 adoptive families and birth parents in this journey of adoption all the while maintaining our strong pro-life, pro-family, pro-ministry calling to our community! Thank you for allowing us to be a vital part of your life!
We all go through seasons of life. I personally am a spring and fall kind of girl. I love the freshness spring time brings, with the wonderful aroma of flowers blooming, particularly honeysuckle. In the fall, I love the change of colors and the crispness in the night air. In both seasons I enjoy the sunshine on my face and a blanket to cuddle with under the stars. In both seasons, you can find me sipping coffee (or tea) in my favorite spot in the evening s and early mornings, on my patio. Summers in Arkansas are just too hot. Almost unbearable to enjoy any activity outside. It gets to the point that even your swimming pool becomes too hot to swim in. And the winter, well anyone who knows me knows how I hate to be cold. I get “bone cold” and just can’t get warm.
2016 has felt much like a season of summer and winter combined to me. It’s been like the heat that presses on you where you pray for a drop of water on your tongue in hopes that it will bring relief. Or like those harsh winter days where you are so cold, nothing seems to be able to bring warmth to your body and you are so tense from shivering to the point where you physically hurt.
I remember several years ago my family and some of our closest friends decided to take a camping trip…..in August…..in 113 degree temps. What normally should have taken 10 minutes to put up a tent, took nearly three hours because of the heat bearing down to where it was impossible to even hold the tent poles in your hands. I recall watering them down just to try and bring relief so we could get the poles together. At the same time having to constantly take breaks to make sure we were staying hydrated. It was pure misery and something I have vowed to never do again in the heat of summer.
We all go through seasons of being uncomfortable. It’s only natural to want comfort. We gravitate towards what brings us comfort naturally, without thought. These uncomfortable seasons aren’t pleasant but they are useful. Ecclesiastes 3 talks about there being a time for everything under the sun. There is a time to tear down and a time to build. A time to weep and a time to laugh. Wherever you are, whichever season of life you are in, I want to encourage you to be all there! Look for beauty, for it is all around, even in the brokenness.
This has been a season of brokenness, pain, sorrow, and loneliness to say the least. A season where I have grown to trust the Lord, lean on Him to comfort me and trust Him fully along the way. Even in the darkest days, God has been so faithful to show His grace and allow me glimpses of the beauty that only He can bring. I look forward to the new season, and a new year.
I see families that come into adoption in much the same light, broken with raw hearts and emotions. The expectation of starting a family, but guarding their hearts because they just don’t know how much more disappointment they can take. Often times they have been through a season of failed pregnancies, failed fertility treatments, and the hope of a child seems so distant; the longing for a child becomes immensely painful. God put them on the path of adoption, a glimmer of light in a valley of darkness. A place to be vulnerable and completely reliant upon Him. The path is not easy, there is a lot of brokenness, for that is what encompasses adoption in the first place. God gives us the ability to see beauty even in a broken mess. He gives them hopeful expectations.
So what are my HOPEFUL EXPECTATIONS for 2017? I refuse to make New Year’s resolutions this year! WHY no New Year’s Resolutions? Well….by January 15th I feel like a complete failure, it’s way too much pressure for my vulnerable heart to take. Of-course I want to lose weight, get into the best shape of my life, put on a bikini by summer and grow spiritually by leaps and bounds. All that is great, but (maybe I am the only one….maybe not) I am so OCD that when I hit a slump (again by January 15th), I feel like a complete failure! Then here comes my pity party! I refuse to put that pressure on myself this year, but instead cling to being FAITHFUL and INTENTIONAL in all that I do. I look forward to all that God will do through ABBA Adoption, and how He plans to use me. Because I often say we are vessels for God to use and at the end of the day if all we do is an adoption, we have missed the mark. Tori and I are excited to share with you a sampling of what is on the horizon of our hearts.
The Gathering: Tori and I will lead in a small devotional and time of fellowship (of-course there will be coffee!) followed by intentional prayer and accountability for women in our community that desire authentic community/relationships
For Details check out our FB page
Blogging: Get ready….we are women with much to say J. We desire to encourage adoptive and birth families alike as they journey through the process of adoption. (feel free to comment and give us your thoughts)
Videos: Seriously…..I had to have a third point and Tori is shaking her head at me….but here it is….videos! We plan to put out videos to go with our blogs, and our devotionals of The Gathering. We are new to this, so don’t expect much! J
Our prayer for you as a new year begins is to look diligently for the beauty in the brokenness of life and be encouraged in the HOPEFUL EXPECTATIONS God has for you in this next season!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
If you are interested in learning more about our adoptive parent programs visit our website
I know….ewww…..gross! But seriously! Have you ever found yourself so grieved, crying uncontrollably that you felt as you could fill a pool of sorrows from the pain and tears that you find yourself trying to breathe and looking for a Kleenex? You know, because you have a giant snot bubble protruding! Then there are the tears of joy! Something you have prayed earnestly for! Something so grand and awesome, you are in awe of how God answered your prayers in such a big way! And for certain, there is abundant rejoicing and the occasional…..you guessed it, snot bubble! Or how about being with a group of friends and you are laughing so hard you can’t catch your breath, the tears are flowing like the waterfall over a cliff, you’re bent over because your stomach is literally getting a workout (crossfit style, of-course), and here it comes…..a snot bubble!
I have been in each of those situations, yes I know, TMI! Today, I was going through some books in my office, kinda doing a reorganization and came across a scrapbook that I put together depicting the first couple years of ABBA Adoption. As I was flipping through the book I was faced with back to back adoptions where snot bubbles made it in the pictures. I think where this journey of life has taken me these days, this really stood out to me. One of anguish yet peace and the other of joy and thankfulness. Both, an answered prayer.
PICTURE 1 This is a young lady who found herself in a crisis pregnancy. Never thought she would ever be faced with making such hard decisions at such a young age. Reflecting to the “what if I hadn’t” in life, yet faced with the reality of her actions. But she is strong! She is selfless! She decides that this child is worth having a life. Her bravery and fearlessness to choose what she feels is best for this precious baby hurts to the core of her being yet she has peace in knowing she is providing for this baby through her life plan of adoption.
I immediately reflected to how I felt a few times in my life with the most recent losing my dad. As I had the privilege to sit and hold my dad as he took his last final breath, the pain was so unbearable! I sobbed till I was choking! I hated he was no longer with me. No more watching sports with my dad. Spending time grilling together was over. Our long talks on the back porch by the pool would be no more! As much as I was in agony, I was also at peace that my dad would no longer have to suffer in this fallen world.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” ~ Psalm 147.3
PICTURE 2 I’ll never forget speaking with this sweet couple for the very first time. The husband was a bit cautious………really I am putting it mildly……..he was skeptical because ABBA Adoption was a new adoption agency (I however wasn’t new to adoption work). Adoption is very expensive and they lived in a different state. He put on such a hard manly front and his poor sweet wife was taken aback thinking he had offended me. Actually, he never bothered me, he was being the leader of his home and wanted to ensure his wife wasn’t going to get hurt. Nevertheless, the hard shell broke, I gained his trust, and they signed on with ABBA Adoption as one of our first families. He took the risk! They matched with a birth mother and looked forward with nervous anticipation as the birth of the baby approached. The birth mother wanted the baby placed in the daddy’s hands first (she also knew he was a teddy bear). I truly don’t think I have ever seen a man cry so hard! He was in awe! He was thanking the Lord for the gift of life through adoption and the opportunity that he and his wife had to show the love of Christ to a lady who needed to see grace in her own life. I have to say, this snot bubble picture is one of my absolute favorites! Every time I gaze at this picture I am reminded of how God breaks through the hard shell of our sinful hearts and does such an amazing work of sanctification in our lives when we will just release and trust him. AND THEN…….I giggle! I unequivocally LOVE this picture!
In my own life I have been faced with trials, fears, and uncertainties. I have prayed BIG things. I have relinquished control and gave it all to the Lord. He has answered prayers in ways I have never anticipated. Everything from making provisions to giving me the desires of my heart!
“You sent Your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold Your manna from them, and providing water to quench their thirst.” ~ Nehemiah 9.20
PICTURE 3 This is a mental picture! It’s the times with friends and family. It’s those moments when your kids/husband say or do something so insanely funny, you’re rolling on the floor with tears. The time you’re hanging with friends and the laughter becomes uncontrollable, your stomach is hurting, you can’t breathe, you make eye contact….and it just intensifies, and then yes, the snot bubble comes and the tears are flowing and you just need to pull it together to get through the rest of the story. I love these moments in life! They are precious pictures engraved in the heart.
“Then our mouths were filled with laughter and our tongues with joyful songs. Then the nations said “The Lord has done spectacular things for them.” The Lord has done spectacular things for us. We are overjoyed” ~ Psalm 126.2-3
What’s your snot bubble moment?
To learn more about adoption services, visit ABBA Adoption at www.abbaadoption.com
So here we go! We begin a new chapter! (BTW…..this will be a little long) This launch has been one that I have agonized over! Seriously, it’s pretty sickening how much anxiety I have had over the new website and now launching the new blog! I want more than anything to bring glory to God in everything that I do, and I’m a little bit of a perfectionist, that is information for those that don’t know this about me. About 15 months ago I sat on a journey that I feel I have definitely felt the laboring pains. Our website was on such an old format and desperately needed updating. Our blog went without any attention for more than a year because of constant technical difficulties, not to mention the 500+ spam emails I would get a day, who wants that?!. I even started a personal blog with many articles that I had in progress because of things the Lord would lay upon my heart and would not complete, it just didn’t feel right separating myself from the ministry that I have been called to. Let’s be real, my life and ministry are so tightly knitted together and for goodness sakes, I need as much simplicity in my overly busy life!
So what to expect…..the title says it all and here is a taste of what is to come! So join me with your favorite cup of tea or coffee, because if you know me at all, you know I always have one or the other in my hand! Just an FYI…..I am sipping on a wonderful aroma of coffee and Irish Cream creamer……I know you can just smell it! Yummy!
FAITH: Nothing is more important to me than my faith. It is what guides my life, my family, and my ministry. In Hebrews 11, Paul gives us a picture of great men of God who displayed what it means to live out your faith in action. Hebrews 11 says “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” But then calls out these patriarchs and starts each one off with “By faith”, how I want that to be the mark of my life!
In my ministry I think what faith an adoptive family has to come to ABBA Adoption and trust that this is where the Lord has lead them to grow their family through adoption. I often can be heard saying to any family or group that adoption is “A walk of faith”. An adoptive couple walks trusting in the Lord’s plan without having the tangible laid before them, with many unknowns they will have to embrace.
I also think of a birth mother. The faith she has to have to be courageous and not only choose life for her baby, but make an adoption life plan where she is trusting in a family to provide all the things she can’t, for whatever reason at this time in her life.
FAMILY: What a gift from the Lord! My family consist of myself, my husband Chris, seven children we have been blessed with along with a wonderful son-in-law and two beautiful grandchildren. Four of our children came into our life through adoption! What an extra special gift they are!
In the world we live in, families are facing overwhelming battles. For an adoptive couple, family plays a big role in being supportive of this journey. Having a family that bathes that couple in prayer is vital, but it doesn’t stop there! We will address at a later time the importance of that on-going support between husband and wife as well as extended family that is necessary in life and in adoption particularly.
For a birth mom family matters can be extremely complicated and broken. Often times my staff and I become that source of support to her. My heart often breaks over the breakdown of the family structure and how this is generational and how this affects the lives of these ladies.
FRIENDS: One thing that I am known for is my “get-togethers”. I love being surrounded by my family and friends. They are the life-blood of prayer and community for me.
Friendships play a huge support role for adoptive families and birth moms. We need to make it a point to build healthy friendship communities around us. Investing in each other’s life is such a blessing!
ADOPTION and PRO-LIFE: In my own personal life, I know what it means to be adopted. I had a wonderful earthly father who adopted me and took me as his own! It is a special gift! It is something I am extremely grateful for, although I can say with absolute certainty, I probably have not always displayed my gratefulness, you know, because the teen years do happen!.
My greatest adoption happened when my heavenly father adopted me into His family when I put my faith and trust in Him. Many of you may know my life and ministry scripture which ABBA Adoption was birth from, Romans 8:15-17 states “For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!”The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.”
As stated before, my husband Chris and I have been blessed with four children through adoption. We know firsthand the gifts that have been given to us and yet we also know the ups and downs that can arise.
For a woman that is faced with an unplanned pregnancy, an adoption life plan is an important consideration and can be a huge blessing in her life, an adoptive couple’s life, but most importantly the life of a child. Let me be very clear where I stand, a woman, no matter her background, situation, or circumstances is a HERO! Any woman that is faced with an unplanned pregnancy and has the courage to choose life for her unborn baby is highly rated in my books! The pressures of the world makes it far too easy to end the life of that child, but when she can step outside of her own desires and put that child first and then place that baby into the arms of a family and trust them to give that baby love, security, safety and a chance at a better life than she is presently capable of, it calls for a celebration and a giving of thanks to the Lord every time, because it is truly a miracle right before our eyes………THE MIRACLE OF ADOPTION!
As I wrap this up, and you know…..my coffee cup is empty, I ask that you be in prayer for me. Please let me know what you want to hear from me on. We will cover all topics! Pray that I will honor God with my words and by that He will be able to work in the lives we come into contact with on a daily basis. Pray for my staff. Pray that we are always intentional to share the love of Christ with all those we come into contact with.
If you want me to speak at your event, you can email me at: